Good Morning! Glad to be here again. I am honored to speak to you all today. Your pastor filled in for me a couple weeks ago. It’s great when you have a friend in the ministry in the area that you feel equally yoked with concerning spiritual things. You have an awesome Pastor, but I think you know that.
This morning I am going speak on a series I preached at my church on the Armor of God taken from the Book of Ephesians Chapter 6. You’re getting the condensed version; I preached it over three weeks, but I believe the Lord wants you to chew on what I am going to give you this morning. I pray that you will receive some revelation from this.
Because I believe it is important for us to discuss Paul’s writings to the Church of Ephesus, about our need to fully grasp the power that the Lord has made available to us as we are continually entangled in spiritual conflict.
As an engaged follower of Christ, spiritual conflict should be a regular entanglement as we are involved in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ and by experiencing and expressing the Kingdom of God here on earth for everyone to see.
When we read Ephesians Chapter 6, it is near the end of Paul’s letter to the church of Ephesus. He leaving his last but probably most important thoughts at the end capping off this letter with an eye on spiritual warfare. Paul’s teaching here is one of the most important in the Christian arsenal throughout the ages, and is a standard for the church today.
The Apostle Paul taught on the armor of God primarily because as these new believers brought their lives into closer covenant with the Lord, living the overcoming life, their lives would begin to have an effect on others, and an affect in the spirit.
And because of that, spiritual darkness would be shaken by this new light that would be invading it, and the fight against the light would commence.
aSo the Apostle Paul laid out to the Church, who they were in Christ, and the weapons of warfare that was at their disposal when the enemy reared its broken head in an attempt to come against them.
So I would like to read the whole text the Apostle Paul wrote in Chapter 6 starting with verse 10 then begin breaking it down. Now this is the Holman version of the Bible I am reading.
“10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. 12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, 15 and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. 16 In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. 18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.”
Now, I am not going to break down each verse like I did over three weeks. It would take way too long. I am going to focus primarily on some main points so you are not passing out listening to me.
10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength.
Upon confession as Christ as our Savior, being followers of Christ, we have been given authority through Him. Official permission, to have power and dominion.
All the way back in Genesis 1:26, it says that God gave man dominion over everything on the earth. We lost that dominion because of sin until Jesus through His death and resurrection took it back, and handed it back to us.
Before Jesus ascended, He said in Matthew 28:18, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and in earth.” He then told the Disciples to go. They were to go in His Authority that He gave them. That’s us.
The Apostle Paul knew his authority in Christ, and knew the power available to him, because he was no different than any other believer. He had to walk the same walk. He was an unbeliever initially, like all who begin the journey, but after the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul grew in knowledge and strength in the Lord just like all believers should.
So the Apostle Paul knew what he was saying to the church of Ephesus in Eph 6:10 about activating their faith, that they were empowered, they were authorized, they had authority in Christ to live an overcoming empowered life, and the Apostle Paul was their example..
Which brings me to verse 11. In verse 11 the Apostle Paul begins his steps to get the believer to see that they have weapons in their spiritual arsenal to use to thwart the supernatural spiritual advancements of darkness upon themselves, and on others. He says;
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.
The Apostle Paul begins by having the readers of this letter put in their minds a man in a full suit of armor. They knew what a Roman Soldier looked like. They controlled their province.
The Apostle Paul is saying that you must put on this armor, so you can stand. This armor wasn’t just regular armor; it was special armor. The word used was Panoply.
Panoply means a complete set of arms, or a whole suit of armor, but not a regular suit of armor, but armor that is of a splendid spectacular display. An armor that is glorious, and outstanding, a step up above the others.
Paul was saying, clothe yourselves in it, invest yourself into it, surround for yourself into the whole armor, in much as you can. Compound yourself into this tool, it’s a weapon of a covering, given by God, so that you will be of power. So you can stand against the “trickery” or the word in English from the Greek, “Artifice”, which is the clever and cunning, of the one who lies in wait, the devil our adversary and false accuser.
Now to “Stand”, means not just as we think to just stand there. I believe we can many thoughts what this means, but in the Greek, the word is histemi, “his tay me”, means to abide - to not tolerate and continue without fading, to hold up, to set-up, to stop or restrict, to place or posture yourself in an active position or posture. So to stand really is an active movement. It is not just standing still. p
In summary, we are enabled through a supernatural compounded covering of God to be safe when a spiritual attack comes, but to use this covering as an offensive supernatura weapon of mass destruction. Only a loving God would do this for His people.
So Paul is setting up the readers to see that God has them covered by supernatural power 24/7.
12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.
The Apostle Paul is saying, “For we profit not by remaining in a hard struggle against the carnally minded human nature.”
In other words, don’t waste your time fighting against fleshly things. People!
The word Wrestle comes from two words from the Greek, “Esti Pale” “To Be thrown or thrown down.
The Apostle Paul knew about wrestling from the Greeks. Greek wrestlers would oil themselves up and wrestle nude so their opponents could not get a good grasp on them. There were really no rules except whoever was left standing, won.
So we are not to allow ourselves to be thrown down. We are to stand, in our armor against the spiritual forces of evil. We who are compoundly covered in the armor of God, covered in the oil of the Holy Spirit.
When we wrestle in the spirit, we will struggle with them consistently, with endurance, for a time or a season, and remain in the fight. We do not give up. We fight.
Who do we fight against?
Some texts use “but against rulers”, some use “principalities.” They are similar.
In English, “principality” is a place ruled by a prince. It actually comes from Latin, principalis. Meaning “First.” In the Greek, Arche’, (R Kay) meaning chief, someone with rank, someone of the first order.
A prince who has power and authority, but only over a limited area.
Racine would be considered a principality as it is a smaller dominion within a larger dominion, the County of Racine, then the State of Wisconsin, etc.
When you read “Against authorities” and some versions use powers.
In the Greek, it’s a “A super human potentate or magistrate who has delegated influence and power within a jurisdiction.” One having power and control in an area who has the power to influence. A higher power. In Rome this term could be given to an Emperor.
“Against world rulers of darkness of this age”
In the Greek, “kosmo-kratōr” kos-mok-rat'-ore, which a world ruler, Satan. So you have Satan, then Authorities, then Principalities, the hierarchy.
“Against the spiritual powers of wickedness in the heavenlies.”
“Pneumatikos” phyoo-mat-ik-os, supernatural spirits, or Fallen angels.
“The spiritual powers of wickedness which kept not their first estate; which have their station in the regions of the air.”
Now, I am not theologian, and truthfully with the study I was more concerned about the armor, than the principalities, and powers and all that stuff.
Remember what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:37-39.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Jesus Christ is “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Eph 1:21)
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Col 1:13).
Amen! So we are okay.
Ephesian 6:13 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. “
So the Apostle Paul tells the believer first to take up the whole armor of God.
Or as in the Greek Paul says “Because of this” or because of these evil spirits, alluding to verse 12 of who we war against, “take up” the panoply of God. The glorious, and outstanding armor.
“Take up”, or “take unto you” in some versions, in the Greek, is the word “ana-labete”. Another word for take-up also used “ana-lambanō”.
The word “Ana” means to repeat an action, to do something again with intensity. The Greek word labete, means to receive or to take. So analabete means to reach down and pick up their armor, put it on and use it again. Lambano means to violently seize.
In otherworld’s, put on your armor with intensity of purpose to use it.
Now we take this armor to use it to withstand in the evil day. So that we may have the power or might to oppose and resist “anthistēmi” “having done all”, “katergazomai”, “kat-er-gad'-zom-ahee” having completely accomplished with the goal to finish by any means with intensity, to stand.
Any means is we use what gifts we have available. Supernatural gifts.
This leads us into verse 14.
Ephesians 6:14 “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,”
The Roman Soldiers wore a belt, and that belt was central to the soldier’s armor. It held a dagger called a Pugio and a Sword. there were five different swords they used. The belt was wrapped around chain mail a line of defense against arrows, and a layer of body armor that it supported in some cases. The belt was of utter importance to the soldier as it held everything up.
Our Belt is the Word of God. The Word is the basis of all truth. It holds everything up for the Believer. The promises of God that move us ahead to stand. We use this instrument of warfare to prepare us for the battles of life ahead of us. The Word of God can sooth us, but can also be used as an offensive weapon.
The loins in the Greek concerning the belt is the word “osphus” it means multiplied creative power produced internally that we are to wrap around ourselves. The truth that is wrapped around us is not hidden, not concealed, but is openly expressed in power.
As we look at it, the truth of the Word of God, is in us, and is powerful, but that power is manifest outside of us, when we speak it, and when God displays it through signs wonders and miracles.
And we may think, that this is just a belt, but we have to look at our God. In Him, nothing is just a small something. Everything is wrapped up in the power of His being that He has given to us to push back darkness, every piece that is part of the whole has indestructible power, and they work together to make us invincible. We must understand that when we wrap ourselves in the Word of God, because of the truths in it, we are too powerful to be defeated or overcome when we have faith.
Continuing with verse 14, “having on the breastplate of righteousness…”
“having on, or having put on” the Greek word “enduo” meaning to be endowed with, having an array, wearing an elaborate impressive display, the breastplate of righteousness.
The Roman breastplate was the soldier’s largest piece of armor because in reality it protected all his major organs from the front to the back.
It protected the soldier against all manner of assault. It was made to hold up under pressure, but also made to be worn daily. Our breastplate, protects our spiritual heart to be worn at all times.
And for us to put on the breastplate of righteousness, as stated earlier, we must first have the belt of truth firmly in place. Without truth, our righteousness will be based upon our own attempts to impress God. Those self-attempts could lead to legalism or self-condemnation.
Even though, “Romans 8:1 says that we have no condemnation in Christ Jesus.” We choose instead to acknowledge that, apart from Him, we can do nothing, from Jesus’ words in John 15:5.
So the breastplate of righteousness guards our heart for us to be secure in the truth of our salvation that comes from Christ Jesus. That we would secure ourselves in the truth of God’s Word that nothing would penetrate our hearts outside of this truth.
Because that truth is power, and that power is secured in the knowledge of God that moves us to stand on His promises.
All in all, verse 14 tells us, “Abide therefore without wavering moving forward, and wrap yourself with the internal creative spiritual power of truth of God’s Word, that holds us together and holds up the protector of our hearts that secures us in the truth of our salvation and the power of God so we have no fear of moving forward.
Ephesians 6:15 “ and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
The Roman soldier’s shoes were a mixture of metal and leather in two parts. They were definitely not made for bringing peace. They were definitely created for war. The shoes were made of leather, and the tops of the shoes had metal woven into them for protection. Primarily Brass. The bottoms of the shoes had nails sticking out of them to provide traction and to be used to kick, wound, or even kill.
Why would the Apostle Paul use a battle implement to talk about peace?
Because Peace can be used as a weapon. The word “shod” means to bind. So you bind the shoe to your foot. We bind them tightly so they will not slip, or move.
But shod means also means to bind something under your foot or under your feet from the word “hupodeō” in the Greek.
The Apostle Paul is saying that we must firmly tie peace around our lives. It must be firmly in place. When we war, we do not war in anger, we war in an attitude of peace. Because we have prepared ourselves. “Hetoimasia” is the Greek word for preparation. It means to make ready.
So we make ourselves ready by covering ourselves with the peace of God through His Word, and by being in His Presence, through worship and prayer.
Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.”
When you think of it, when we are at peace, we have fully come under the protection of God. We are not trying to do anything in our own strength. God is our offensive weapon. He goes before us. So peace becomes a weapon for us.
So Ephesians 6:15 in the Bradley paraphrased version states, “we prepare ourselves to come under the peace of God so we can bind it to us so we will stand on the firm foundation of the Good News of Jesus Christ.” That is our power.
Ephesians 6:16 “Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
The Roman shield. The word in the Greek. Theron. It means door. A Large door. The Roman shield was multi-layered. Thick leather on wood. Leather when wound up and dried could be as strong as steel. There shields were nearly impenetrable.
The shield was very important in the protection of the soldier and had to be taken care of daily by applying oil to the leather. If the leather dried out, it could cause the shield to break in battle.
Before battle, the soldiers soaked their shields in water. In doing so, when the enemy shot flaming arrows, the wet shields would extinguish the flames.
So the Apostle Paul is saying, “Every man should violently take up a large shield (like a door) and (believe and have confidence, with faith, and take a fixed position and get ready for battle) where you will be of power, and be able to extinguish, or quench the fire, of the wicked.
What is the shield of faith, again, it is the Word of God? The central most thing in our life. The Word of God is our faith, it is our shield, it is our life, and it protects us from everything.
Our shield is a renewed mind. And our minds are renewed by the Word of God. Nothing can come up against the shield of truth, because nothing can come up against the Word of God. It quenches any fire from our enemies because of the truth.
The Roman soldier took care of his shield so it would not fail, we must take care of ours and carry it in our hearts. It is our covering. It gives us supernatural faith.
Let’s begin with verse 17. The Apostle Paul says, “and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,”
In other word “take hold of”, the “perikephalaia” the thing that is tightly fixed around the head in order to protect it. A Helmet. The Roman soldier never went into battle without a helmet because the weapon of choice by his enemies was the battle axe. No helmet usually meant no head over time.
So we take hold of the thing that protects our head, the helmet of salvation, salvation in the Greek, sōtērion, means “defender or defense”, we take hold of the helmet of defense. The Greek word Soterion’s root word is soteria meaning rescue or safety to be delivered or saved.
So we take this helmet of defense or safety, we put it on. The helmet protects our head; it protects our mind.
The enemy wants to destroy our minds. He wants us to put our minds on things that are not on the things of God. He wants us distract us out of the fight. He wants our minds on fleshly things. Fear, worry, hurt, work, anger, lust, and the list goes on.
The enemy knows that our minds can take us out of the fight if it is not renewed daily in the Word and promises of God. Our foundation is our salvation. So we must be vigilant to renew our minds in the Word of God.
Lets look at the sword in this verse, a weapon. The word for sword in the Greek in Ephesians 6:17, is “machaira” which a small sword.
Figuratively it means war. Machaira’s root is “mache” whose meaning is battle, (figuratively) it means controversy: - fighting, to strive against something. In the Hebrew it means of those in arms, those in combat. Those who fight. Those who quarrel.
Those who fight with words.
So we battle, at war in the Spirit with words. The Words of God. We speak the Word and its life giving power into situations as if in battle, as if we are in combat bringing war to those things that appose what is right in the eyes of God. His Word being the standard of right and wrong.
When we look at the machaira, the sword that the Apostle Paul referenced, it was a sword used by the Romans that was about 19” long. Not that long really if you have held a sword.
The average sword of the day was between 30” and 39” long. It is written that this Roman sword was the most brutal of the five different swords that they used. Razor sharp on both sides, and the tip was the deadliest because of its shape, because it was curved up. This two edged sword inflicted the worst injuries out of all the swords used. When the Roman Soldier stuck it into his opponent, he would grasp it with two hands turning it. When he pulled it out, it pulled the intestines right out of their opponents. Sweet huh?
It was a weapon of terror. It was actually called the “slaughter knife.”
Now why would the Apostle Paul use this terrifying weapon as his reference?
Probably because the description of this weapon spiritually is the most brutal when describing its power against our enemies in the spirit. The enemy is “gutted” when we speak forth, breathing out the all-consuming supernatural power of the Word of God.
So the Sword of the Spirit, is the Word of God!
The phrase two-edged is taken from the Greek word “distomos”. Di, “dee” means two or twice. Stomos is the Greek word for mouth. Funny huh? So compounded, two-edged is actually “two-mouthed” in the Greek. A two-mouthed sword.
Paul is saying, a two mouthed sword is a word coming out from the mouth of God that is known, and that known Word, is given as a rhema Word to us and we speak it from our mouths. That spoken Word of God received by revelation through the Holy Spirit cuts through anything when delivered by a son or daughter of God in faith. It is a Word of power.
There is nothing in creation as powerful as the Word of God, and one who wields it in the name of Jesus in faith.
The Apostles knew it, even the people of their day knew it, and it’s time that we operate in those Words to save a lost world so that people will see God.
So Ephesians 6:17 is saying, “take the helmet of salvation”, take hold of the defender of your mind, the helmet of defense, and put it on to protect you, and “take the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God”, or take the breath of God, (talking about the Spirit now) pneuma in the Greek, a Holy Spirit given Word of God into battle and commence combat. Paul is saying to bring the Word and let it do its thing.
So the Apostle Paul ends with,
Ephesians 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
The Apostle Paul ends with, “Pray to God earnestly”, proseuchomai, pros-yoo'-khom-ahee, pray toward Him. Fix yourself on him and pray in belief on every occasion, thoroughly, make your prayers complete in the Holy Spirit, speaking the Breath of God. Pneuma again.
The word pneuma, means breath, a blast of breath, of the super human and divine nature, it’s the breath of God.
So we pray, in the Spirit, breathing by revelation, the Words of God praying for others who believe like we do, so we can together as an army, stand, armored, in an offensive posture in the Spirit to quench the fire of the enemy, and remove him from our ground because it is our dominion.
There is power in the Word of God. Not only to dramatically changes our lives, but it a covering for us, and it a weapon for the believer.
The Apostle Paul was showing the church that they were covered, protected, but were also empowered by the Word of God. That nothing could stop them from their mission. God wanted them to use His Word not only for spiritual growth, but to use it against the enemy, the devil and all those who were in legion with him so His kingdom would be realized on the earth.
The church today needs to understand who they are in Christ, and what they possess through the Word of God. We are to change the world around us with it. We are to break strongholds. Push back those who want to keep a worldly status quo.
Since God has given man the earth to have dominion over it, He has given us His Word to take dominion, and reconcile it back to Him even with the opposition that is present. When we look at Ephesians 6:10-18, it is all about battle, warfare, and armor, with offensive weapons, but not against men, but against spiritual things on our knees in our closets. But it is also out in among the people bringing healing and freedom to them.
In the end, the Apostle Paul was really saying. “Look, God has given you everything in your life to personally over-come this world. He has also given you the power and anointing to help others over come too. Be confident, have peace, because your God goes before you, so nothing can come against you if you believe. We must believe. We must have confidence that the weapons of our warfare the Word of God destroys everything that is not the truth. Because the Word is truth, and when we live in the truth, we are truly free, and we will bring freedom to those who are trapped by the dying things of this world. Amen!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Do you believe that?